A public space in the making.

How do you welcome others?
Which traditions and customs do you know that have to do with hosting?
What do you do to make others feel welcome and join in?

Colchester Inn is a project about hosting and welcoming in Colchester.
Initiated by public works and commissioned by firstsite.

Over a three year period public works is working with a variety of community and interest groups from Colchester and the surrounding areas, to find out how they host and welcome others. Collaboratively proposing and creating a new communal meeting room for Colchester - the Colchester Inn.

Each of the participating groups is developing a new object that reflects their specific customs and ways of hosting. This new object can be anything from a welcoming chair, a new dish, an inviting scent or tune or a special fabric. The contributions from all groups will feed into the making of the Colchester Inn meeting space at firstsite.

Colchester Inn
March 2012: all together now

Seven elements make the Colchester Inn:

The Colchester Chinese Culture Society have worked on the concept and design
for the KNOT CURTAIN, which combines the well-wishing meaning of Chinese knots and the Chinese habit to show special photos to guests.

The 3D Group - students at the Colchester Institute -have invented the KNICK KNACK CLOUD, a growing collection of knick knacks contributed by people from Colchester. The objects have their own recorded story attached and make good conversation starters.

The Individuals Group developed and equipped the PUBLIC TEA PARTY.
It consists of a clay-oven, a collection of tea cups and mugs from charity shops around Colchester, a cake recipe book, a large cake stand and doily boards to
serve favorite cakes.

The Time Bank Group is inviting guests of the Colchester Inn to enter a different TIME ZONE, one that is not based on minutes and hours but different intervals and conceptions of time to get lost in. There is a time bench, T-Shirts, randomly executed time keeping and a book with a long list of time related phrases.

THE DARK SIDE OF HOSTING is revealed by the Embroidery Group, who have made sitting pillows with a pretty front to welcome guests, and a darker side revealing hosting disasters.

EVERYONE’S RAIL is an invitation to the general public to get a better under-standing of skating culture:  its ethics of inclusion, equality and support. The programme of films, skating lessons and a multifunctional rail results from events and conversations with the Skating Community outside of firstsite.

An Inn without a sign? The PUB-GAME-SIGN for the Colchetser Inn derives from meetings with people who go to pubs, run pubs and research pubs. Jess Jephcott  has compiled an extensive history of Colchester’s pubs and inns, and the new PUB-GAME-SIGN combines some of these stories and observations.

Colchester Inn - all together now concludes the development phase for each element, and brings the different concepts together in one structure. In a next phase this structure will be adapted for a permanent outdoor structure: a new kind of pavilion where hosting and public space come together. <\p>

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